Green Down Vest

brown cords | green vest unzipped

My green down vest may get worn more than any other article of outerwear in my closet. This is mostly due to its versatility. It can be easily dressed up for “business casual” or dressed down with a sweatshirt for an evening walk. It also provides an additional layer and material to experiment with color/fabric/pattern combinations (especially sweater/dress shirt combinations). I think that the green color of my vest adds a nice pop of color while remaining reserved. Down vests have been a staple in classic dress for decades, perhaps due to the love of outdoor activities or simply for the love of layering.

Although they have been around since the early 1900’s Eddie Bauer patterned the first quilted down vest in 1940. These vests were supplied to United States Army by Bauer. This could partly explain the long standing popularity of down vests. Many of today’s fashion staples are derived from either sport or war. The down vest has roots in both.

Grey sweater | Brown chinosGrey sweater | Brown chinos

Brown corduroys | Navy sweaterBrown corduroys | Navy sweater

Brown corduroys | Navy sweater | Green vest unzippedBrown corduroys | Navy sweater | Green vest unzipped (more color variation)

British khaki chinos | Blue ocbdBritish khaki chinos | Blue ocbd

British khaki chino | Navy sweater | Tartan Sports shirtBritish khaki chino | Navy sweater | Tartan Sports shirt

The vest featured was made by Quest and was purchased at a Dick’s sporting store in 2005 for around $50. It has held up well as it has received more than its fair share of wears. I have been keeping my eye open for a replacement and received a Lands End version for Christmas last year. However, it has not replaced my older vest and has only be worn a handful of times.

old green down vestOld green down vest (bad picture)

Lands' End down vestlands’ End green down vest

Above are my two vests. There are a lot small differences between the two vests. The color and quilting are both slightly different. I prefer the quilting and color (a touch brighter) of the older vest, however this does not detract from the Lands’ End vest. The biggest downside to this vest is the lack of warmth that it provides. I am unsure of the exact fill of either vest, but I do know the older one is much warmer. There are also issues with the buttons and pockets. The lands’ End version has buttons which don’t seem to hold in heat as well as zippers. Plus, buttons are simply not as convenient as zippers. The pockets are not lined with fleece like my older vest. The lined pockets actually make a big difference when you are outdoors.  At least I am learning what to look for in a replacement. The search continues.

oxford cloth button down
is a simple man interested in simple, classic, and traditional style.

6 Comments on "Green Down Vest"

  1. Woofboxer says:

    Nice and warm but they do make you look like a hot water tank!

  2. BEG says:

    OCBD, I have the Land’s End vest and it’s great for layering, but not so great as a piece of outerwear. I do prefer the snaps since it’s more traditional, though. I wear it over an LLB Norwegian sweater on cold, clear days and it’s just about perfect.

    • eduardo says:

      I love the first two vests! While the front pocekts might not be functional, I think a brightly coloured pocket square in one of them would go a long way in channelling the blueblood Upper East Side dandy vibe.

  3. snakeninny says:

    Hi OCBD:
    Are your cords also from j.crew?
    Seems that their chinos, cords and bowery pants don’t share the same cuttings. I remembered your chino preference was classic, how about cords and bowery pants?
    And surprisingly, cords in 1040 slim-straight seems to be the same cutting with classic chinos according to the official site, which is a little narrower than classic cords. So for cords, which cutting do you prefer?
    Yinglu

  4. oxford cloth button down says:

    Snakeninny – The cords in this post are from J.Crew. I also have a pair of wool bowery trousers in classic fit that I like a lot.

    However, like you I have found recently that even thought the bowery pants are still labeled classic that they fit different than the chinos. I have had to send my last two pairs back due to the rise being too low and the legs being too slim. I will have to find a new source for wool slacks. I have been considering giving Howard Yount a go.

    Interesting note about the 1040 cords. I will have to give them a look. Lately it seems like J.Crew only offers 5-pocket cords. They also tend to favor the narrow wale. I have actually switched over to Lands’ End cords. They offer them in a wider wale and the fit is better. I have had to change from their tailored fit to the traditional fit, because they have gotten slimmer as well.

    The quality of the LE cords is not all that either. I have had some issues with bald spots. You can read more here: http://oxfordclothbuttondown.com/2015/01/corduroy-conundrum/

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